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Being High on Life and Dazzling the Real-Life Runway One conversation with the famous designer Archana Kochhar and you realize that her conditioning has a lot to do with her success.

By Priyadarshini Patwa

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Facebook/ Archana Kochhar

If you thought with success, fame and fortune gets into your head, you totally need to hear some optimistic views of successful people. After all, you wouldn't want to lose everything over your smugness and arrogance.

Renowed music performer Colleen Martin professionally known as Lady Starlight once said, "I think that fame only goes to your head if you are not a real artist. If you are a real artist and a good person who loves what they are doing, you are going to be the same person."

Believing the same is celebrated designer Archana Kochhar who believes if you are surrounded by simple people, nothing can change you. Sitting on the rooftop in a duplex apartment on the 15th road in Khar, Mumbai, Archana scans the crowd at Tanisha Bansal's event, before making her way for an interview with Entrepreneur India.

Taking the chair, she smiles and introduces herself. "Hi I am Archana Kochhar." This trait instantly gives you a hint of what kind of person she is and what type of conversation was about to happen.

The glint in her eyes when she talks about 20 years of her journey in the fashion industry cannot be missed.

Her face lits up when she mentions about the hard times as if it was just yesterday. There is no hint of remorse when she talks about being a woman designer at a time when gender bias was at its peak.

In a sincere conversation with Entrepreneur Lifestyle, she talks about how she dazzles the real-life runway by simply working hard and being high on life.

Source: Facebook/ Archana Kochhar

Being a woman entrepreneur two decades ago:

When you start working from the scratch, life throws tons of unexpected things at you. Two decades ago, being a woman entrepreneur was no walk in the garden. Like any other person who was just in her 20's Kochhar had went through her own share of difficulties. For a very long time, she didn't even realise that many things just happened to her because of her gender.

"I started working at 20. At that age, many things came up and you are just too consumed dealing with it. That time you don't realize that a problem arises due to what gender you belong. I got married at 20-21 and also started my business after 6 months of my marriage. Now that I look back I realise there were moments when people took advantage of me. When you have situations you deal with it and then you have another problem that is how it works. Now that I go back in time I understand there were so many odds against me. That time I never sat down and said that I am a woman hence I am being treated like this. I had a problem and I was too consumed in solving it. I didn't know that some problems came my way because I was a woman," says Kochhar with a billion dollar smile.

Source: Facebook/ Archana Kochhar

Inspiration & Perspective:

Success isn't just about accomplishments; it is about getting inspired and learning. When you understand someone else's voyage, you get what it takes to reach the top and look at the world from that height. Shedding light on who inspires her and how a person's outlook changes Kochhar gives some brilliant example.

"There many who inspire me. Internationally look at Elie Saab, his designs are ethereal. In India I look Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi. What they have achieved is so admirable. It's not only about the designs, in life I feel when you are at the first floor, you see things differently and when you are at tenth your view changes and then when you are at 100th you see things from a different perspective. It takes a while to understand the journey of people who have reached that height. It's not just about the clothes they make, it is also about the brand they have built. They are two separate journeys."

Source: Facebook/ Archana Kochhar

Luck Depends On Hard work:

There is no shortcut to success, hard work is the ultimate key and the Kochhar says nothing different. In fact, she strongly believes that the harder you work the luckier you get.

"A lot of time people say he or she is so lucky. At times they say you are lucky you have a huge store, but I have been at it for the longest period of my life. And I am at it every day of my life. Success doesn't come and sit on your lap; you have to be at it constantly. So people who want to rise need to believe in them but without working hard you can't get anything. The harder you work, the luckier you get."

The Simple Mantra

While people refer liquid to get high, for Kochhar life is more than sufficient to get her spirits rolling and rocking.

She follows a simple mantra and concludes our conversation saying, "Life is what inspires me. I don't drink, I don't smoke, so I am always high on life."

Priyadarshini Patwa

Former Features Editor, Entrepreneur India

Priyadarshini Patwa is the Former Features Editors of Entrepreneur India and hosted an Instagram show every Friday named ‘Lighten Up’, about people from different walks of life and talk about their work and beyond. She handled the lifestyle, features, technology, entertainment segments and was also responsible for the Digital Covers. Previously she has worked with MensXP, a Times of India entity and Deccan Chronicle. 

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